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April 21st, 2005

The Birthday Times and The Future

In middle school and high school, when I was looking for a unique gift and didn’t want to spend too much money (because I rarely had it to spend), I went to Hallmark and bought The Birthday Times.

The Times was a single sheet of paper that took your birthdate, and spit out interesting facts and figures from that day and year. Included were gas prices, the price of a loaf of bread, the #1 Billboard hit for the week, and some headlines. Here’s one person’s reminiscence of their Times.

It was a neat gift that people always found interesting in that time before the Internet was in every home. These days, though, it would take a lot more to impress someone. During a discussion with Paul, he’s the co-Pingmaster (in case you haven’t met him), we came up with a pretty nifty idea that would be nearly impossible to execute because of copyrights and such, but worth mentioning anyway: a DVD version of The Birthday Times.

On this DVD would be news broadcasts from the day you were born (perhaps even local news), PDF copies of newspapers from the day (or maybe just the front section), MP3s of the top 25 songs from the era, a copy of the most recent Sears catalog, etc. How cool would that be?

I’d gladly plunk down $25 a piece for such a DVD and think it would be one of those really unique gifts that would work for anyone.

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 5:03:49 pm
I got one of those Hallmark cards long ago. Guess what I found out? Nothing of interest really happened on my birthday. I don't even share a birthday with anyone famous.



FROM: Ken
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 7:04:00 pm
I share my birthday with Helen Keller, it might not be too braggable.



FROM:
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 7:15:27 pm
Oh yea, that is a pretty good idea. It wouldnt be that hard to make, except like you would need to make like 200,000 for every day of the past like 80 years.



FROM: Jack and Sally Metcalfe [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday June 2, 2006 -- 9:25:11 pm
I wrote the original Birthday Times program while technically a subcontractor for ITDA (Information Technology Design Associates) of Northfield Minnesota, a remote southern suburb of Minneapolis, MN. My wife, Sally, keyed in the data, provided by a History professor from a Nortfield college or university (St. Olaf).

I also negotiated with Tandy/Radio Shack for the computers to run the software. Hey their PC's sucked but where there is a Hallmark there is a Radio Shack close by.

ITDA was a startup of Dan something, out of Northfield, MN. The idea was his and he sold it to Hallmark.

I can be reached at JackMetcalfe@MetWorks.biz



Chris Koslowski April 28, 2009, 8:19 pm

where do u go to get a free hallmark the birthday times thing (websites)

Paul July 2, 2010, 6:23 pm

Very late, I know, but the above comment from Jack and Sally is awesome.

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